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M̵e̵x̵i̵c̵o̵
Canada / 35:00 / 1992 / sound / colour
"The jury felt the best experimental film would be the work which not only displayed a new way of looking through cinema but which also found something new at which to look. In this spirit the jury has awarded the prize for best experimental film to 'Mexico'. Although its initial context is a languidly dystopic trip from Toronto to Mexico and back again, its true subject is power: the power inscribed in the unseeing gaze of the tourist, the power manifest in the recently signed North American Free Trade Agreement, under the auspices of which Mexican workers threaten to be divided up by American and Canadian corporations tired of living wages, labour unions and environmental regulations." - Oberhausen Jury

"In 'Mexico', first prize winner at this year's Oberhausen Short Film Festival, we are taken to Mexico City and back to Toronto in a timeless, beautifully filmed and paced journey through the 'New World Order' with images of bullfights, dinosaur graveyards, aquariums, tourists climbing the Aztec Pyramids and the belching smoke of a North American factory polluting the Mexican jungle." - Cordelia Swann, London Film Festival Catalogue, 1993

"In 'Mexico', experimental filmmakers Hoolboom and Steve Sanguedolce set out to dissect the travel bug. Hoolboom's deadpan, incisive voice-over offers the viewer the air-tight experience of a Third World holiday, while images from an archaeological museum to a bullfight to an auto factory establish the dual contexts of tourism and Free Trade." - Toronto International Festival Catalogue

"This high contrast, anti-travelogue benefits from a sharply ironic image track and a mordant voice-over that lends menace to the notion of direct address. Between the film's title and its somewhat arch 'erasure' the subject shifts from Mexico to its Canuck observers." - Top Ten Films of 1992‚ Cameron Bailey, Now Magazine

"'Mexico' ruthlessly unmasks and dissects the assumptions and half-truths we tell ourselves about development and progress. Not so much a film as a series of live-action postcards, the images are sustained by an incisive voice-over. The tour ranges from an archeological museum to a car factory ('a factory which produces only smoke') to a hideously graphic bullfight, linking cultural colonialism to free trade. 'Everything you touch turns into Toronto‚'Hoolboom says, and this vacation jaunt ends with the disquieting transformation of the Mexico City streets into the 401." - Josh Ramish, Variety

"When you travel through an unknown country with the aim of forgetting about where you come from, you're bound to see the new places as willing reproductions of what you are trying to leave behind. Thus the lonely traveller in Mexico, escaping his hometown of Toronto, cannot but project the fundamental questions about life, death and history that trouble his mind upon this new environment solely within the context of his own background. What was supposed to become a touristic relief or the beginning of a new life turns into a lucid and sensitive analysis full of unfamiliar images, a compelling journey into his own state of mind." - Miryam van Lier, Visions du Reel catalogue

Awards: Best Experimental Film, Oberhausen Film Festival, 1993; Best Poetic Documentary, Athens Film Festival, 1993, Honorable Mention, Atlanta Film and Video Festival, 1994; Certificate of Merit, Cork Film Festival, 1993
Genre
Exhibition Format
16mm
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
32 Lisgar Street
Toronto ON Canada M6J 0C9
Monday - Thursday / 10:00 - 18:00
(416)  588 - 0725
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
32 Lisgar Street
Toronto ON Canada M6J 0C9
Monday - Thursday / 10:00 - 18:00
(416)  588 - 0725